Sony has upgraded its GitHub repository and guides for select Android device configurations with the addition of Android 9 Pie builds. For clarity, the company's AOSP project has been running since Android 4.4 KitKat and provides developers with a source for downloading the OS in configurations specifically designed to work with their respective devices. Moreover, changes uploaded to the repository by developers are reviewed and verified with the possibility that they'll be added to the AOSP code. Aside from the experience-based prerequisites, users will need a compatible Android device. As of this writing, there are a total of 19 supported Sony-branded devices listed on the company's website, each falling within the 'Xperia' family. That includes the Xperia X, Xperia XA2, Xperia XZ, Xperia XZ1, and Xperia XZs series handsets. The list also includes Sony's Xperia Touch model G1109 Android-powered projector.
Getting started with Android 9 Pie on any of the above-listed devices should be relatively straightforward for technology buffs and those who have flashed firmware or ROMs before. Users will need to know how to install a specific version of Java – Java 8, in this case – as well as how to a terminal window so that the build, compile, and flash tools can be downloaded. Google's Repo tool will also be required to download the source code from Sony's GitHub. From there, the proper branch of the AOSP will need to be grabbed. For the time being, the build number is "PPR1.180610.009" and "android-9.0.0_r1" is the appropriate branch designation. That will also bump the Android Security Patch level up to August 2018. However, the branch will change over time so anybody interested in taking part in the manufacturer's program will want to check the guide first. Finally, a flashable image will need to be built and flashed, followed by the appropriate vendor image provided by the OEM.
Although the guide itself should be relatively easy to follow, users who don't have experience with the processes involved should probably wait for an official update or a device that ships with Android 9 Pie. As of this writing, the company has not confirmed which handsets that will be. With that said, the most recent speculation includes the Xperia XZ2, XZ2 Compact, XZ2 Premium, XZ1, XZ1 Compact, and the XZ Premium. That rollout should be taken with a grain of salt but will reportedly be completed by the end of September.